For the 10 percent of voters who’ve yet to make up their minds, and facing a Hobson’s choice, here is a way to rationalize checking the box for Hillary Clinton.
Clearly, both Clinton and Donald Trump are seriously flawed candidates.
Clinton is an elitist, full of hubris, and has left a long trail of ethical lapses. Whether stealing furnishings when she left the White House in 2000, or not recognizing conflicts of interest with her private email server or the Clinton Foundation, Clinton fudges the lines.
And Trump? It’s legitimate to wonder how anyone can vote for a rich-boy, megalomaniac, sexual predator who doesn’t pay taxes and welches on commitments to charities.
Setting aside their disturbing personal attributes and partisan politics, the choices look different when the race is framed as establishment and the haves versus the outliers and the have-nots.
Clinton represents the establishment and the haves, as did the 15 Republican primary challengers Trump vanquished. Trump, of course, represents the outliers and have-nots, as did Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Trump’s brand of antiestablishmentarianism is troubling because it is based on fear and false premises of how things work.
Most obvious is his use of falsehoods to appeal to white, displaced, working-class men.
Industrial production in this country is at the highest level ever and twice what it was in the 1980s. An example of how this can be is a new refrigerator plant opened by GE in Kentucky a few years ago. It takes a total of two man-hours to make a fridge. The rest of the work, of course, is automated.
Millions of manufacturing jobs are not coming back. The textile mills on the Merrimack are not coming back. The paper mills in Berlin and Maine are not coming back. Even the newspaper industry, which has shed 40,000 jobs in the past 15 years, is not coming back.
The answer is not to give false hope, like Trump, but acknowledge the truth. We have a shortage of skilled workers, not jobs, and the challenge is to retrain or relocate people whose jobs are lost forever.
The alternative to fear is to punt till 2020, and vote for steady-as-she-goes (pun intended). Flaws and all, Clinton embodies the establishment and a steady hand. Trump represents a brand of antiestablishment that is dangerous.
A speech writer for George W. Bush, David Fraum, coined the term “Axis of Evil.” This is how he justified his vote for Clinton.
“This country is not so broken as to allow a President Trump to arrest opponents or silence the media. Trump is a man without political ideas. Trump’s main interest has been and will continue to be self-enrichment by any means, no matter how crooked.
“Your hand may hesitate to put a mark beside the name, Hillary Clinton. You’re not doing it for her. The vote you cast is for the republic and the Constitution.”
- Category: Editorials